Howard Brenton: Weapons of Happiness

(1095 words)

Howard Brenton’s Weapons Of Happiness inaugurated the Lyttleton Theatre space at the National Theatre in 1976 and won the Evening Standard best play award. As a result, it was widely perceived as the triumph of alternative fringe theatre’s penetration of mainstream theatrical culture. It is audacious in both its striking use of shock techniques (such as the mixing of fantastic and realist elements) and its ambitions to make connections between contemporary social issues in Britain and the wider history of the European Left. Such disorientating techniques include such moments as that at the beginning of Act Two, where there is a scene with Josef Frank and Victor Clementis (Czech communists), a placid Joseph Stalin and …

Please log in to consult the article in its entirety. If you are a member (student of staff) of a subscribing institution (see List), you should be able to access the LE on campus directly (without the need to log in), and off-campus either via the institutional log in we offer, or via your institution's remote access facilities, or by creating a personal user account with your institutional email address. If you are not a member of a subscribing institution, you will need to purchase a personal subscription. For more information on how to subscribe as an individual user, please see under Individual Subcriptions.

Barfield, Steve, Ian Foakes. "Weapons of Happiness". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 08 February 2005
[, accessed 27 September 2016.]